Giant Prayer Wheel in Shangri-La, Diqing

Why is Giant Prayer Wheel in Shangrila So Special?

The giant prayer wheel in Shangrila is reputed as the largest one in the world for its 21 meters in height and 60 tonnes in weight. Like many prayer wheels, it contains the traditional six-syllable Om Mani Padme Hum mantra in the inside. Because of its size and weight, the prayer wheel is to be spun by multiple people. It’s a must-see attraction of Shangrila tour. 

Where is Giant Prayer Wheel – Location

This giant gilt-bronze prayer wheel is located in Shangri-la County of Deqen Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, southwest China’s Yunnan Province. At the Guishan Park of Dukezong Ancient Town, tourists have to climb up the small mountain and then can see the biggest prayer wheel in the world.

History and Culture

In 2002, this Giant Prayer Wheel was built in order to commemorate Zhongdian County renamed as Shangri-la County. According to the Tibetan Buddhist tradition based on the lineage texts regarding prayer wheels, spinning such a wheel will have much the same meritorious effect as orally reciting the prayers. One circle of every turn is equivalent of 1.24 million Amitabha chanting.

On the surface of the wheel shows the high relief Manjusri, Samantabhadra, Avalokitesvara and Ksitigarbha. Eight treasures of Buddhism showing on the bottom of it are Parasol, Golden Fish, Treasure Vase, Lotus, Conch, Endless knot, Victory Banner and Wheel. Inside the canister are Sutras and mantras, 1.24 million pieces of wordless mantra and all kinds of Buddhist treasures. 

How to Get There

As the Giant Prayer Wheel located at the Guishan Park of Dukezhong Ancient Town, it’s easy to find it. You can take the flight, long-distance bus to Shangrila and then transfer to Dekezhong Ancient Town.

Recommended Visiting Route

The visit of Giant Prayer Wheel can be finished within half an hour. As one part of Dukezhong Ancient Town, the Giant Prayer Wheel is a must-see attraction of Shangrila tour. Usually it’s combined with Dukezhong Ancient Town tour and Shangri City Tour.

Nearby Attractions

Dukezhong Ancient Town

Just like the meaning of its name in Tibetan, the “Castle built on Stone”, Dukezong Ancient Town is built on the mountain foot. As one of the largest and best-preserved Tibetan residence groups in China, the 1300-year-old Dukezong Ancient Town, not only plays an important role in the Old Tea – Horse Road, but also serves as a corridor connecting Chinese and Tibetan language, people, religion and cultures.

Songzanlin Monastery

Songzanlin Monastery is the largest Tibetan Buddhist temple complex in Yunnan Province. It is called the Little Potala Palace. In 1993, it was listed as a Key Provincial Protection Unit of Cultural Relics by the government of Yunnan Province. It is said that the Fifth Dalai Lama decided the location though divination and gave the name—Gedansongzanlin. At its height, the monastery housed 2,000 monks. Now about 700 monks live there or around the region.

Useful Travel Tips

► Respect the local custom of Tibetan. 

Tours including Giant Prayer Wheel in Shangrila

4 Days Shangri-la City Tour

5 Days Lijiang-Shangrila Tour

7 Days Shangrila Meili Snow Mountain and Yubeng Village Trekking Tour

8 Days Yunnan Classic Tour by Flight